Wednesday, May 21, 2014


We jump ahead once again, with this series, to the early fifties and Arkansas. From Little Rock, Junior Brooks leads out with a mash-up of the “44” theme and Big Bill’s “How You Want It Done,” played “Delta meets Chicago” style. Next up, just across the river from Memphis in Helena, drummer Peck Curtis leads a harmonica-driven group featuring Sonny Boy Williamson and either Drifting Slim or Frank Hawkins, or maybe all three! Both recordings come from field trips that Joe Bihari made through the deep South in 1951 and 1952 for his family’s Modern group of labels.

Junior Brooks • Lone Town Blues • 1951

James “Peck” Curtis • 44 Blues (take 2) • 1952

Junior Brooks, vocal/guitar; Baby Face Turner, guitar; Bill Russell, drums. North Little Rock, Arkansas, c. Nov 1951.

James “Peck” Curtis, vocal/drums; Sonny Boy Williamson, harmonica; Elmon Mickle and/or Frank Hawkins, harmonica; Robert “Dudlow” Taylor, piano; poss. W. C. Clay, guitar. Helena, Arkansas, c. 22 Jan 1952.

LP cover: American Music

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